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Michiko to Hatchin – 05 »

Michiko to Hatchin – 04

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One frustrated evening, an intoxicated Michiko gets fed up looking for Hiroshi Morenos, (Hatchin’s father), and becomes disruptive vents her aggression as usual while drinking at a strip club in São Cabal. A bit later that night when she stumbles drunkenly out of the bathroom, the stripper she insulted earlier introduces her to the floor for a little sweet revenge before sauntering off for the night.

Nursing a hangover the next morning at Hatchin’s part time job at the local Chinese restaurant, Hatchin asks her if Hiroshi has any friends or acquaintances that she knows about. A name comes to Michiko’s mind, but she blows it off and walks out to the tune of several little monkey kids who came to fetch her in a car with guns in hand. Rather than worry much about Michiko, Hatchin recognizes the thief who stole her shoes and screams at him as they drive away, escorting Michiko to their boss’s house.

Adjusting as needed, Rico introduces himself to Michiko while looking her straight in the eyes. Nicknaming her “Spicy Cat,” he tries to help her remember a little boy she may or may not have crushed her high heeled shoes into last week. Unfazed by his manly display of power, he stores his gun safely and tries to make her an offer she can’t refuse, but their conversation is momentarily marginalized by the blonde stripper Michiko saw the other night as she hurls a TV in their direction. After watching her unabashedly grab a beer and go back to her room to dance, the two finish their conversation and Michiko opens the door to the sight of a worried Hatchin. As they walk home, they meet the stripper again in a car that threatens to run them down for no apparent reason. Staring up from the pavement, Hatchin thinks her attitude reminds her a lot of Michiko.

The next day, the stripper “Pepe” shows up with her short companion “Lulu” at Hatchin’s restaurant holding the photo of Hiroshi that Michiko threw away at the strip club two days before. Claiming to be her father’s friend, she promises to tell her more if she shows up to the club tomorrow night to celebrate her birthday. Not worried at all that she didn’t bring any money for lunch, she dumps out what little change remains in her coin purse and hands the box of leftovers to Lulu before showing off a few skills she learned as a stripper to make a quick getaway.

Confidently dismissing the possibility that the Pepe wasn’t lying about Hatchin’s father, Michiko takes her to the birthday party the next night anyway. Before the show, Pepe tells Lulu that she doesn’t have to go through with “this” if she doesn’t want to. Wanting to do “it” anyway, Lulu only requests that Pepe keep smiling, because that’s all she needs to be happy. They really have a great dynamic between them, (even if the matching outfits are a little disturbing). Pepe asks Rico for some money, or at least a birthday present, when he comes in before the show starts, but he retorts with a slap that knocks her to the ground. Composed if not a bit pissed off, she walks out to start the festivities and shows a few gentlemen a good time on stage.

Hatchin and Michiko are drinking some “juice,” joined shortly by Pepe at the bar. A bit slurred already, Hatchin cares more about the status of Pepe’s missing underwear than where her father is. In response to Hatchin insulting her desire for money, Pepe tells her a sad history of why she ended up working in a place like this, easily reducing Hatchin to sympathetic tears. Lulu walks out the back door as Pepe challenges Michiko to a drinking contest to win information about Hiroshi ‘Moreno-koto’ – clearly lying, but Michiko charitably takes her up on the offer anyway. Winning the contest hands-down, Michiko drags Hatchin off the dance floor and takes her home empty-handed as Pepe falls off her barstool (after recalling what she had for lunch and dinner that day), giggling happily on the floor.

Back at their hotel room, Michiko tucks Hatchin in for the night only to suffer complete and total defeat at the surprisingly light and nimble feet of Lulu as she escapes with Michiko’s bag of personal belongings. After returning home and searching the bag, with no ID cards to show for their successful thievery, she apologizes to a compassionate Pepe for a failed mission. Pepe promises to buy Lulu an ID card with the money from tonight’s birthday party, but doesn’t yet know what to do about her own situation.

Finding out that a stripper showing up on your bed in the middle of the night isn’t as fun as it sounds, Rico suffers a soft brick to the head while Lulu breaks open his safe with a shotgun. Waking up penniless, he sends his army of street brats after the girls with a bounty on their heads. Almost getting away scot-free, Pepe suddenly realizes she left the one cute photo of Lulu behind in her bedroom at Rico’s house, and they need that to create her ID. Lulu tells her not to worry, and that she’ll go get it and return as fast as she can. The last we see of her is being chased down by two of the munchkin boys with Michiko as a witness on her bike.

Waiting frantically for Lulu’s return in Michiko’s hotel room a bit later, Pepe begs Michiko to help bring Lulu back on a suicide mission to Rico’s house. But despite desperate and heartfelt pleas, the only thing Michiko offers is a small wad of cash as Pepe walks out, determined to do this rescue mission on her own, no matter what it takes. Disappointed in own her lack of ability to help, Michiko smashes the bedroom mirror with the jeweled lighter from her pocket.

Alone in a taxi on the way to Rico’s, three of the boys convince the taxi driver to drop off his passenger and go back the way he came. With no choice but to accept their challenge, Pepe walks up for a confident showdown, and after a tense pause, all three of the boys shoot their guns directly at her multiple times before the screen goes black. A Continuar.

 
 
 
 

Thoughts:

I know I said I wasn’t intending on blogging this show, but I cannot begin to express how entertaining this episode was. Episodes one to three were also a surprising breath of fresh air, so I urge any of you who were thinking about watching this show to give it a chance past the first episode. Originally suffering a miserable life at the hands of her foster parents in Brazil, Michiko rescued Hana (aka Hatchin) after a successful prison break, and they have been searching for Hatchin’s father ever since. It’s easy to feel contributor Shinichiro Watanabe’s connection with his other successful works like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, from the searching-for-a-lost-loved-one storyline to the flamboyant and creative musical score. Not that either of those are even remotely bad things.

Coming from a rocky start, Michiko and Hatchin are building a really nice duo-vibe in their growing relationship. Hatchin is beginning to trust Michiko, and cares enough for her partner/friend/mother figure to go “rescue” her, shivering at the door of her enemy with a chef’s knife in hand – Even though at the time of her capture she was more concerned with her stolen shoes than her stolen companion, which I interpret as complete confidence that Michiko can take care of herself, with enough courtesy to remember to worry after the shoe-rage dissipated. Hatchin is also acclimating surprisingly quickly to the rough living style, and I get a large kick out of her outbursts and rising bad attitude. Which reminds me, no drinking “juice” until legal age, please.

As Hatchin pointed out, Pepe and Lulu really are virtually a mirror image of Michiko and Hatchin, except much worse off in terms of being stuck in a bad situation. They desperately need IDs in order to survive on their own, and Pepe’s intricate plot to take advantage of an unlucky and deserving victim quickly turned into the possibility to make a capable friend who can help her out of this rough spot and restore her faith in trusting people. Although I was a bit worried at first because of Lulu’s strange demeanor, she proved beyond a doubt that she’s quite the capable criminal.

The cliffhanger at the end of the episode left me open-mouthed in shock, so I’ll be anticipating the conclusion next week. They are doing an excellent job making the viewer care about the characters and their plights – even the ones we only just met this week. With a creative and stylish series like this, it truly is a sharp change of pace from everything else that’s out there, with incredibly high quality and yet potential to grow even more. I hope the rest of you aren’t forgetting to give this one a chance.

-Trillian

November 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm
28 comments »
  • November 13, 2008 at 3:41 pmChimasternmay

    i only watched the first episode so far, but it was cool; i think ill catch up soon to it. especially after seeing this ep stuff. seems interesting art is still good.

  • November 13, 2008 at 3:42 pmheartofadeadpoet

    looks..very sexual lol

  • November 13, 2008 at 3:42 pmChimasternmay

    yeah… woa i didn’t even see the last shot lol.. dam wth? gotta watch ep 2 and 3 lol

  • November 13, 2008 at 4:02 pmSherry

    My! Finally ^^
    I was wondering why such an amazing show as this one was not covered in this blog :)
    Nice summary and screenshots ^^

  • November 13, 2008 at 4:13 pmdyh

    Oh me god! Ty for blogging Michiko to Hatchin

  • November 13, 2008 at 4:27 pmSoldaT

    Best anime this fall. Not only this fall but this year ;)

  • November 13, 2008 at 4:55 pmrobin

    For some reason, Michiko reminds me of Sayoko Bizen from the hentai manga SLUT GIRL. Except for hair color, she’s got the same no-nonsense attitude, “street smarts” and sexiness we don’t see much of in strong female characters. I avoided this show for so long but I think I might keep watching.

  • November 13, 2008 at 5:04 pmNixx

    Imho this is one of the best shows of this season, along with Casshern Sins and may be 1 or 2 else. You surely don’t make a mistake whatching them =)

  • November 13, 2008 at 8:57 pmv1cious

    glad you reconsidered, this show is great so far.

  • November 13, 2008 at 9:08 pmv1cious

    also Watanabe didn’t create this show, he just produced the music. the directing this normally does live action movies, hence the realism.

  • November 13, 2008 at 9:45 pmKapwan

    This show is awesome. It just oozes style which is always a plus. The story while not incredibly complex has me intrigued.

    I also gotta give props to Watanabe for finding another great band in Soil and “Pimp” Sessions who do the intro and some of the in show music.

  • November 13, 2008 at 10:25 pmRyvius

    Thanx for reviewing this show Trillian! You’re doing an awesome job for RC!
    By the way would it be possible for you to add my blog in RC’s blogroll? That would be so appreciated! :3

    http://worldofanimemusic.blogspot.com

  • November 13, 2008 at 10:58 pmRogerOskaner

    One of the best shows this season, and one of the best shows made in a while. Great characterization. Can’t wait to watch episode 4.

  • November 14, 2008 at 1:36 ammin

    I’m glad this blog is covering this show now. :) It’s very entertaining, and I love the style.

  • November 14, 2008 at 4:53 amJuban

    Most Japanese anime fans basically ignores this show mainly because voice acting is so poor. But visually it’s pretty good and story is decent. I guess it could sell more DVDs outside Japan with English voicing.

  • November 14, 2008 at 10:34 amkat tun kartoon

    you just got smarter ! michiko is so cool !

  • November 14, 2008 at 6:11 pmKendrake

    Just watched the first few episodes, and i Must say that we have a Winner this season! (not saying that the other series this season weren’t good too) but this series left a nice Fresh taste in my mouth, everything from the music to the style and characters. this series can prove Highly entertaining ^^ thanks for introducing the series Trillian!

  • November 14, 2008 at 6:51 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    STRIPPERS?!?! of course i’ll give it a shot. good review yo!

  • November 14, 2008 at 8:46 pmuatafak

    How come voice acting is poor? ie. Hana aka Hatchin may sound way older than she is, but I find her voice actress magnificent ;)

  • November 14, 2008 at 9:00 pmCMWilly

    The show is definitely a winner, though i don’t think Shinichiro Watanabe deserves the credit. He’s only credited as the music producer. Sayo Yamamoto is the one who should be getting his due respects as director of the show with Takashi Ujita helming the story.

  • November 14, 2008 at 10:46 pmswing3r

    Trillian your blogging style is very awesome I must say I’m impressed.

    keep up the [great] work

  • November 15, 2008 at 8:31 amChino F.

    The character design seems very Disney to me. Looking at Michiko and the stripper, they sure look like characters plucked out of a Disney movie and suddenly slut-ized, hehe. But it’s pretty interesting.

  • November 16, 2008 at 12:28 amkts

    about time theres a decent black main character in a cartoon/anime this year :)

  • November 16, 2008 at 3:22 amTrillian

    The character designs were a little uncomfortable at first, but that’s only because you’re (we’re) spoiled to the “Japanese” style, that is so often done that it’s no longer creative in the industry~~ It grows on you fast. Nice to see something different.

    And yes, looks like Show Spoiler ▼

    will be a cool black guy, which I’m looking forward to seeing. And by cool I mean possibly quite dangerous (or not?) according to his character profile, so I’m really looking forward to that plot development. I accidentally got a face full of spoiler images when I went to the character list on the website, so be warned.

  • November 16, 2008 at 10:08 pmauntie bin

    hurray for blogging this one, this anime is quite good!! ^_^v

  • November 17, 2008 at 1:04 amanon

    Congratulations, you’re finally blogging on what looks like the best anime in years. It’s refreshing and thought-provoking, and more seriously touches on issues with style. Like other manglobe productions, characters have identity, a mesh of themes interact, and there is a lot going on under the surface.

    Also glad to seeing something that’s not about harems (with pathetic guys), high school girls, spirits, or whatnot.

  • November 17, 2008 at 7:19 pmReiter

    Haha, Hatchin sure is a mean drunk! Probably an indication of what she’d be like as an adult. Like mother, like daughter.

  • November 17, 2008 at 11:25 pmMirrii

    I’m in shock. Jesus, that was dramatic.